Delay means Hook now won't be back on radio until into new year
Newstalk has confirmed that George Hook's new show has been pushed back until the new year.
The station announced last September that the controversial broadcaster had been given a new weekend slot which it said would start in December, after he stepped down from his High Noon show.
The move came after controversial comments he made about rape, which sparked a huge reaction and public debate.
But he won't be back on the airwaves now until at least January after several broadcasters, including Chris O'Donoghue and Sarah McInerney, quit the station in recent weeks.
The pair saw their Drivetime show axed last August after Ivan Yates returned to the station, with O'Donoghue then being given a two-hour slot on Sunday mornings.
It's understood that this may become Hook's new slot when he returns to the station.
Sponsors for the show have not yet been announced and it's not known what impact the new slot will have on Hook's contract, which was rumoured to be a six-figure salary.
When asked for the reason behind the delay in announcing a starting date for his revised programme, a spokesperson said it was a result of internal changes within the station.
"The full weekend schedule will be announced in January. The time for George's show hasn't been confirmed yet," she said.
Despite calls for his resignation after his remarks on sexual assault, the station released a statement last September to say he would be keeping his job.
It said that an "internal process" had been conducted by station bosses in the wake of the scandal, the results of which have not been made public.
Dr Ciara Kelly, from RTE's Operation Transformation, has since taken over his lunchtime slot.
News that he would be returning to the station after a break was met with a decidedly mixed reaction at the time.
Singer Mary Coughlan walked off air during an interview with Newstalk host Ivan Yates in protest at the comments made by Mr Hook.
She said that she was totally against the decision to reinstate him at the station.
"I'm horrified and disgusted. All of my faith in Newstalk has really gone out the window," she said.
"They seemed to be coming to their senses last week and heeding what the public wanted."